Wednesday, August 31, 2005

As if $3.40 gas wasn't bad enough....

by Kyle Michaelis comes word that the U.S. poverty rate rose in 2004 for the fourth year in a row.

Yes, census data indicates that every year of the Bush Presidency more and more Americans have fallen into poverty.

The AP reports:
Even with a robust economy that was adding jobs last year, the number of Americans who fell into poverty rose to 37 million — up 1.1 million from 2003 — according to Census Bureau figures released Tuesday.

It marks the fourth straight increase in the government's annual poverty measure.

The Census Bureau also said household income remained flat, and that the number of people without health insurance edged up by about 800,000 to 45.8 million people....

While disappointed, the Bush administration — which has not seen a decline in poverty numbers since the president took office — said it was not surprised by the new statistics....

Overall, the nation's poverty rate rose to 12.7 percent of the population last year. Of the 37 million living below the poverty level, close to a third were children.

The last decline in overall poverty was in 2000, during the Clinton administration...

How'd Nebraska do by these standards? Well, actually, the poverty rate fell in the Cornhusker state by all of 0.6%.

Before celebrating, though, we must note this same census data also reports that Nebraskans' median income was down a full 1.3% in 2004, while the number of those without health care rose to 11.4% of the population.

And just think...these numbers are all before the economic shock of $3+ gasoline had reverberated throughout the economy. The cost of living is going to sky rocket if this lasts for long, certainly pushing more and more citizens into poverty and forcing them to cut the fat on expenses like health care.

4 years down, 4 years to go....who knows what President Bush has in store for us next?


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